the highway

by rantywoman

In the July/August 2012 issue of More magazine, there is a heartfelt article by Jacquelyn Mitchard about being dumped by a friend over what could have been considered a minor argument.  The gist is here:

Mitchard’s essay led me to an earlier article in More about losing friendships over the years:

From the article:

Since our culture has never sent us the message that the role of friend is as important as that of mother, wife, daughter or sister, “every time we become overly busy with work and family, the first thing we do is let go of friendships with other women,” says Ruthellen Josselson, a Baltimore psychotherapist and coauthor of Best Friends: The Pleasures and Perils of Girls’ and Women’s Friendships.

It hasn’t always been this way. “Recently I found my mother’s autograph book from junior high school and realized she still has most of those friends,” Levine says. “Her generation was typically less mobile. Women were unlikely to work, particularly in high-powered careers, and more likely to keep their childhood friends.” Active lives, however, only partly explain this weeding-out process.

With the passing years, most of us develop a savory blend of confidence, self-awareness and attitude. This distillation has various upsides; for example, most women I know could easily cohost The View, zinging their opinions out there with a clarity and frequency that are often quite entertaining. However, that same my-way-or-the-highway spirit also puts many friendships under review. “I’ve had some real challenges, like being diagnosed with breast cancer and losing a daughter and a husband,” says Ellie Fuerste Weis, a textbook sales representative in Dubuque, Iowa. “I only want positive people in my life. No more Debbie Downers and Wendy Whiners.”